January 28th this week marked the anniversary of the publication of the Jane Austen classic Pride & Prejudice. To celebrate we bring you a staple from any Austen era ball, a recipe for White Soup.
We are first introduced to the delicacy by Mr Bingley in Austen’s classic;
“As for the ball, it is quite a settled thing; and as soon as Nicholls has made white soup enough, I shall send round my cards.”
Pride & Prejudice (1813)
A classic recipe throughout the ages it is revisited again in P.D. James 2011 crime sequel Death Comes to Pemberley.
“Bingley whispered to Georgiana, ‘Which shows that he has never imbibed Pemberley white soups.’”
Death Comes to Pemberley (2011)
You too can make White Soup for your ball using the handwritten recipe from Susannah Walker’s 1833 Book of Household Recipes
‘Take a knuckle of veal & a piece of ham, with turnips, carrots & savoury herbs, boil them to a strong gravy. Also blanche and pound ¼ lb. of almonds & boil with the above, strain them but first add cayenne pepper, salt, mace, nutmeg & cream to make it white. Thicken with flour and butter, serve it up with a toast in the middle.’
Susannah Walker (1833)
If you try this at home please let us know how it turns out.
Check our library catalogue for copies of Pride and Prejudice available in our libraries.